4 Tempting Second-Act Jobs For Foodies

Dec 28 2013, 12:06am CST | by

4 Tempting Second-Act Jobs For Foodies
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

Michael Pollan: The World’s 7 Most Powerful Foodies

Growing up in the 60’s, my idea of the perfect lunch was a bologna sandwich, Drake’s Yodels and an apple packed inside a brown paper bag.  My husband’s favorite meal was equally gourmet: Chef Boyardee Ravioli — a “real” Italian treat.

Of course, looking back on this now, we chuckle (and our twentysomething food-loving daughters roll their eyes). Like most of our boomer friends, my husband and I have since developed a greater appreciation for fresh, healthy and interesting food. These days, we love spending our weekends trying new recipes, watching cooking shows and shopping at ethnic markets.

(MOREHow to Earn Cash From Your Kitchen)

Full-Time and Semi-Retirement Jobs

If, like us, you love all things food-related, you might want to consider a second-act career in the food world, either as a full-time job or a semi-retirement option.

And I’m not talking about being a cook or a waiter. As the demand for quality food products and services has grown, mouth-watering career options for foodies have diversified, too.

To help you learn more about potential second-act foodie careers, I interviewed Dorothy Williams-Neagle, co-founder of Goodfoodjobs.com, a site that lists full-time and flexible jobs, as well as internship opportunities, in a variety of food-related fields. Williams-Neagle, who’s based in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., recommends four types of jobs:

4 Second-Act Ideas for Foodies

1. Food blogger or freelance food writer  It might surprise you to learn that Rae Drummond, host of The Pioneer Woman on the Food Network, got her start as a food blogger documenting her cooking adventures as a ranch wife and mother. Admittedly, it takes a generous sprinkling of luck to convert a blog into a multimedia empire, like Drummond. But if you’re a foodie with strong photography skills, a flair for writing and a willingness to put in the work, it is possible to whip up a part-time — and sometimes even a full-time — income from a food blog.

These types of blogs cover a wide variety of topics, including cooking tips; product and restaurant reviews; food trends and advice on dealing with everything from food allergies to picky eaters.

(MORE4 Ways to Quietly Test Drive a New Career)

Food bloggers generally earn money in one of two ways — either through advertising, sponsorships and affiliate (referral) revenues or by using their blogs as platforms to promote their own products and services (such as catering and cooking classes).

It’s impossible to predict exactly how much money you’d make as a food blogger. But here’s one real-life example: Lindsay Ostrom, who writes the Pinch of Yum blog with her husband Bjork, has recently had monthly profits ranging from $10,813 to $15,049 (but she earned just $3,291 in April).

Keep your expectations in check, since it takes time to build a following. And be prepared to blog consistently — generally at least twice a week or more — over at least six months to a year before you’ll start monetizing your site. “Be prepared to do something else while you build up your site,” says Williams-Neagle.

Many bloggers find it helpful to attend blogging conferences, where they can learn the tricks of the trade and network with other bloggers, cookbook authors and potential sponsors. The mother of all food blogging conferences is the BlogHer Food Conference, scheduled for May 16-17, 2014 in Miami. (Although the conference name suggests the event is just for women, men are welcome as well!)

If you’d rather find freelance writing projects with food-related companies, websites and magazines, look for them on sites like Goodfoodjobs.com and Mediabistro.com.

2. Gourmet food sales  Cheese stores, gourmet shops and retailers such as Williams-Sonoma look for energetic salespeople to sell their wares. Some higher-end markets, like Whole Foods, also hire salespeople for their cheese and specialty-foods areas. So if you’re someone who enjoys schmoozing with the public as well as learning and talking about food products, this could be a fun second-act option.

While a sales background is helpful, it’s not always required; for these jobs, enthusiasm and a strong work ethic typically matter more than experience. Many retailers offer flexible hours, but you’ll likely be expected to work weekends and/or evenings, especially around the holidays.

Starting salaries tend to be on the low side, generally in the $10- to $15-an-hour range. Some larger retailers, like Whole Foods, offer part-time and full-time employees benefits that can significantly enhance your total compensation package, though.

And as Saul Cohen, 70, who’s now a cheesemonger for Whole Foods Market in Darien, Conn told me in a previous blog, “Semi-Retirement Jobs With Great Benefits,” these types of jobs can be a lot of fun. “I have friends who’ve become customers and customers who’ve become friends,” Cohen said. “I absolutely love it.”

3. Artisanal food production  Are you known for making specialty salts, fruit-infused beers or the perfect toffee out of your kitchen? If so, you might be able to turn your winning recipes into cash by selling your specialty products online, at farmers markets and through larger retailers.

“There’s a huge appetite for all types of artisanal food products,” says Williams-Neagle. “There seems to be no saturation point for it.”

Selling food is often more complicated than it sounds, however. You need to follow local and federal regulations and food safety laws, even if you just plan to sell your canned jams at the local farmer’s market. And, as I pointed out in “How to Make Cash From Your Kitchen,” becoming a successful food entrepreneur involves learning about the non-food elements of running the business such as marketing, social media, sales techniques and inventory control. So get knowledgeable about the ingredients needed for success before you start peddling your wares.

4. Web and graphic design  What if you love food, but would prefer to work in an office environment or from your home office? If you have strong design and technical skills, you may be in luck.

Williams-Neagle says restaurants, food producers, bloggers and others often need web and graphic design assistance. So you might be able to create a niche as a designer specializing in the food industry. If you’d prefer to work from home, on a project or freelance basis, approach local restaurants and food-related companies directly; they may need design assistance with their logos, e-mail newsletters and menus.

How to Get Inspired

In case you need inspiration to launch your second-act foodie career, check out the profiles on Goodfoodjobs.com of others who are already doing it. Two of my favorites: Classie Parker, who teaches canning and Andrea Beaman, a chef, holistic health coach and natural foods advocate.

Reading their recipes for success is sure to stimulate your imagination as you explore the smorgasbord of possibilities. Enjoy, and best wishes for a tasty new career in the year ahead!

Nancy Collamer, M.S., is a career coach, speaker and author of Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit From Your Passions During Semi-Retirement. Her website isMyLifestyleCareer.com; on Twitter she is @NancyCollamer.

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Interesting LNG Put And Call Options For June 6th
Investors in Cheniere Energy Inc. (AMEX: LNG) saw new options begin trading today, for the June 6th expiration. At Stock Options Channel, our YieldBoost formula has looked up and down the LNG options chain for the new...
 
 
Interesting GMCR Put And Call Options For June 6th
Investors in Keurig Green Mountain Inc (NASD: GMCR) saw new options become available today, for the June 6th expiration. At Stock Options Channel, our YieldBoost formula has looked up and down the GMCR options chain for...
 
 
Relevant Or Relic? Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day Faces New Challenges
Those who grew up in the 1990s may always think of today as a day when many girls missed school to go to work with mom or dad, but this morning, girls and boys across the country headed off to work with parents,...
 
 
Ingram Micro Becomes Oversold (IM)
Legendary investor Warren Buffett advises to be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful. One way we can try to measure the level of fear in a given stock is through a technical analysis...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Apple Posts Record Q1 On Strong iPhone Sales, Margin Gains
Apple announced a strong set of Q2 FY2014 results on Wednesday, beating guidance on both revenues and gross margins. The company saw its revenues grow 5% year-over-year to$45.6 billion in the second quarter, which...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Seeds Of Apple's New Growth In Mobile Payments, 800 Million iTune Accounts
During Apple’s (AAPL) earnings conference call on Wednesday, it was revealed that Apple now has about 800 million iTunes accounts.  CEO Tim Cook described it as “staggering.”   This is an impressive achievement...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Interesting LNG Put And Call Options For June 6th
Investors in Cheniere Energy Inc. (AMEX: LNG) saw new options begin trading today, for the June 6th expiration. At Stock Options Channel, our YieldBoost formula has looked up and down the LNG options chain for the new...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Interesting GMCR Put And Call Options For June 6th
Investors in Keurig Green Mountain Inc (NASD: GMCR) saw new options become available today, for the June 6th expiration. At Stock Options Channel, our YieldBoost formula has looked up and down the GMCR options chain for...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Relevant Or Relic? Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day Faces New Challenges
Those who grew up in the 1990s may always think of today as a day when many girls missed school to go to work with mom or dad, but this morning, girls and boys across the country headed off to work with parents,...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Ingram Micro Becomes Oversold (IM)
Legendary investor Warren Buffett advises to be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful. One way we can try to measure the level of fear in a given stock is through a technical analysis...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Xilinx is Oversold
The DividendRank formula at Dividend Channel ranks a coverage universe of thousands of dividend stocks, according to a proprietary formula designed to identify those stocks that combine two important characteristics —...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Innophos Holdings is Oversold
The DividendRank formula at Dividend Channel ranks a coverage universe of thousands of dividend stocks, according to a proprietary formula designed to identify those stocks that combine two important characteristics —...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Why The Average Investor's Investment Return Is So Low
According to the latest 2014 release of Dalbar’s Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior (QAIB), the average investor in a blend of equities and fixed-income mutual funds has garnered only a 2.6% net annualized rate...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Ducky Deal For Ackman
By Olga Oksman If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, legally, it may not be a duck. That seems to be the message from the unusual but very carefully structured partnership struck between serial acquirer...
Read more on Business Balla
 
 
Auto Balla Sexy Balla Sport Balla TV Balla Politics Balla Movie Balla Apple Balla Business Balla Ad Balla Celebrity Balla